Bias, prejudice, and the violence they engender are not a new phenomenon in America. The trial and execution of women suspected of being witches in colonial New England, the brutal and often deadly treatment of Native Americans by westward-moving European Americans, the anti-Catholic fervor of the Know Nothings in the 1850s, the bloody rampages of the newly born Ku Klux Klan in the South during Reconstruction, and the intimidation, beatings, and killings of southern blacks and civil rights workers in the 1960s stand as only a partial testament to our nation’s tragic experience with hate and violence. During the 1980s and 1990s and continuing into this decade, we have witnessed hate crimes directed at African Americans, gays and lesbians, women, Jews, Asian Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and the physically and mentally disabled. Some of these hate crimesthe murders of James Byrd, Jr., in Jasper, Texas, and Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming-have captured the nation’s headlines, whereas too many others have occurred in virtual anonymity.